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The Class of 2023’s Early Admissions Rates

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Many top schools are reporting admission statistics for their early deadlines. If you’re an underclassmen preparing for your next year’s applications cycle, then these statistics can give you valuable information for what to expect.


There will be even more statistics released this January, as priority deadlines pass and schools are able to gather and share their data. As of early January, here are the early admissions statistics for the Class of 2023.


Application Numbers

Generally speaking, more students are applying by early decision or early action deadlines across all schools, and that number continues to rise each year. Many schools reported record early application numbers, which means that the early deadlines are getting more competitive.


Schools that reported record numbers of applications include Brown, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, and UVA. Not only did Brown have the largest number of early decision applicants in 17 years, but they received 21% more applications than last year. Dartmouth’s application numbers rose by 9%, Notre Dame rose by 17%, and UVA had a 15% increase from last year.


Some schools are also becoming more selective at the early stages due to the popularity of early deadlines. In particular, Harvard had the lowest early acceptance rate in years, and Princeton’s acceptance rate went down almost by one percent, even as both schools experienced a slight increase in overall numbers. UPenn, which was one of the few schools to report a plateau in numbers, was significantly more selective this year, admitting only 18% of early applicants compared to 22% last year.


Not all early deadlines are the same. Some of these schools have Early Action while others have Early Decision, and it’s important to pay attention to those differences when planning for your senior year applications. For more information about the different types of deadlines, check out CollegeVine’s post on Early Action vs. Early Decision vs. Restricted Early Action.


Early Admission Rates

We’ve compiled the early admission rates for some of the top schools, as well as provided the number of students who were admitted and the total number of students who applied by their deadlines. More statistics will be available later in January, but this gives you a good idea of what to expect for next year.


School Name Early Admission Rate % Number Admitted Number of Applicants
Brown 18.2 769 4,230
Cornell 22.6 1,395 6,159
Dartmouth 22.2 549 2,474
Duke 18 882 4,852
Emory 42.7 815 1,910
Harvard 13.4 935 6,958
Johns Hopkins 31 641 2,068
MIT 7.4 707 9,600
Notre Dame 20.9 1,534 7,334
Princeton 13.9 743 5,335
UPenn 18.9 1,279 6,746
Yale 13.2 794 6,016

Juniors, this is the last year to improve your admissions profile

Junior year is the last year to make a big impact on your admissions profile before college applications. Our free guide to 11th grade will tell you exactly what to focus on, from academics to creating a school list.


For most students who apply by early deadlines, they receive a deferral rather than a straightforward admitted-or-rejected decision. Colleges issue deferrals when they aren’t ready to make a decision on your application, and want to consider your application in context with students from the regular decision deadline.


Deferrals are common for early applicants, as colleges want to make sure that their incoming class collectively brings a variety of talents, experiences, and perspectives. To give you an idea how common this is, this year 56% of the students who applied to Yale, 64% of the students who applied to MIT, and 24.3% of the students who applied to Cornell were deferred.


What to Do if You’re Deferred

Although it’s common, it can be disheartening to receive a deferral, especially if you’ve put a lot of effort into your application and the deferral comes from one of your top choices. However, students who are deferred can still be admitted at a later date, so there’s no reason to give up hope.


Chances are, you received a deferral because you were a borderline applicant. There wasn’t anything in your application that made it clear that you wouldn’t be good fit for the school, otherwise you would have been rejected. At the same time, the admissions counselors may have felt that your application was weak in some areas, or simply not as strong as the other applicants in the early deadline pool.


Carefully review your deferral decision letter. In it, colleges will let you know if they are simply going to reevaluate your existing application with the regular decision pool, or if they want you to provide additional information. Each college has their own policy about what types of additional information they’ll accept, so it’s important to follow the school’s instructions.


Many colleges will allow you to send in your first-semester senior year grades, which often aren’t available by most early deadlines, or writer a letter of continued interest. Also, if you received any substantial awards or recognitions, you may want to update your application with that information as well.


Don’t be afraid to contact the admissions office with a polite inquiry about what you can do to improve your chances of admissions during the regular decisions cycle. At best, they may give you specific tips about your application, or make it very clear that they don’t want any supplemental information. While sending unsolicited additional information could end up being ignored, it can sometimes negatively impact your admissions chances because it shows that you didn’t pay attention to their requirements.


Even if you can’t update the application for a particular school, you can still take their advice when improving your application for another school’s regular deadline. For more information about what to do when you’re deferred, check out our post I Was Deferred, What Now?


Wrapping it Up

Paying attention to this year’s admissions statistics can help you know what to expect when it comes to applying to colleges next year. More students are applying by early deadlines, making early deadlines generally more competitive each year. At the same time, early deadlines help you stay on top of your application process, may give you an admissions decision sooner, and the percent of students admitted is usually higher than in the regular decision cycle.


The most important factor in determining how likely you are to be accepted is the strength of your application. For more guidance about strengthening your college application, extracurriculars, academics, and more, download our free guide for 9th graders and our free guide for 10th graders. Our guides go in-depth about subjects ranging from academicschoosing coursesstandardized testsextracurricular activitiesand much more!


For more information about how to create a strong application and what schools are looking for, check out these posts:


A Ranked List of the Ivy League Schools

How to Write an Impressive College Essay: A Step-By-Step Guide

What is a Good, Bad, and Excellent SAT Score? Here’s How to Think About It


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.